There are a lot of different gear options when it comes to hiking with your dog. Collars, leashes, harnesses of all varieties, jackets, coats, boots, bandanas, visibility gear, on and on. After trying many things, I’ll tell you what is now my gear of choice: a secure harness with a high-visibility leash and ID tag.
There are 3 reasons why I use a harness rather than a collar for hiking: health, safety, and efficiency.
Let’s start with health. Wearing a harness instead of a collar transfers any and all pressure points to the body of the dog rather than the neck. There is no risk of a sudden stop causing inadvertent harm to the dog’s neck. A well-fitted (key words!) harness is easy for my dogs to wear, does not inhibit their movement, and makes them more visible to other people.
That brings me to safety. This is the biggest reason why I choose a harness. If something goes wrong (and we hope it doesn’t!), I can grab a hold of my dogs very quickly and easily. Actually grab a hold. Some harness varieties have a handle. The one I choose to use, a Hurtta harness, does not, but that is a deliberate choice. I don’t want anything to snag on branches, barbed wire, or other obstacles on the trail. Basically, I don’t want my dogs to get hung up! That’s why their harnesses are fitted ver